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Everglades (Doc Ford) Hardcover – June 2, 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews
Book 10 of 18 in the Doc Ford Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This 10th novel in the series featuring ex-CIA spook turned marine biologist Doc Ford (Twelve Mile Limit, etc.), finds Doc wallowing deep in his own doldrums. Out of shape, overweight, depressed and drinking heavily to escape from his turbulent past, Doc gets a surprise visit from Sally Minster, a former lover, whose real estate developer hubby, Geoff, is reported to have been drowned in a boating accident off Bimini six months ago. Soon to inherit his estate, Sally is being followed by an insurance investigator who may have evidence her husband is still alive. Accompanied by his hippie Zen master pal, Sighurdhr Tomlinson, Doc follows the insurance investigator deep into the Everglades, where Geoff turns out to have been in cahoots with a phony guru, Bhagwan Shiva, founder of the International Church of Ashram Meditation Inc. Geoff helped him build one of his new "theme" ashrams to attract rich South Floridians and jet setters, destroying precious Everglades forest in the process. The Bhagwan and his henchman, Izzy Kline, a Mossad-trained former Israeli soldier, are plotting to engineer a series of explosions, enacting the mythic Seminole Chief Tecumseh's earthquake prophecy of 1811. Free-love religious cults, ecological destruction, murder and kidnapping propel Doc and his band of quirky Florida Gulf Coast beach denizens on a dizzying airboat race across the Everglades, where Doc battles his own demons when he's not battling a real live bull shark. The busy plot gets a bit ragged in places, but while it's not White's career best, this satisfying, madcap fare could well go seismic on the regional bestseller lists.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Much of the tension in today's best tough-guy detective series comes from the hero's fear of his own toughness. From Spenser in Boston to Robicheaux in New Orleans to Doc Ford on Sanibel Island, these introspective sleuths brood about their propensity for violence. Ford, White's former special-ops agent turned mild-mannered marine biologist, tends to brood more than his peers, perhaps because the disconnect between his twin personalities is greatest. In this superlative tenth episode in the acclaimed series, that disconnect has turned Ford against himself, despairing over the number of friends who have been sucked into his violent world and died as a result of it. Then a woman from his past turns up with a problem: her husband has disappeared after becoming involved with a Bhagwan-like cult in the Everglades. Ford, with hippie cohort Tomlinson in tow, heads to the Glades to investigate but not before a one-on-one encounter with a shark prompts an epiphany about his predatory nature. Along the way, Ford has the opportunity to dispense a wealth of fascinating information on swampland ecology and Seminole history. These forays are one of the things that makes this series so consistently satisfying, but this time the real core of the book is the process by which Ford deals with his inner demons. Too often in the mystery genre, this "I'm nice; no, I'm tough" dichotomy descends to cliche, but in White's hands, it leads to genuine insight. The human brain, he tells us, has a tiny region, the amygdala, or "lizard brain," whose sole purpose is survival. When Ford finally quits waffling and lets his lizard brain out of jail, the result is pulsating action and a kind of atavistic catharsis. Righteous indignation never felt better. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Doc Ford
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (June 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399150587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399150586
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Randy Wayne White is the author of sixteen previous Doc Ford novels and four collections of nonfiction. He lives in an old house built on an Indian mound in Pineland, Florida.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Here's the skinny on Randy Wayne White's "Everglades" (at least my version <G>).
First, I'm a huge fan of the Doc Ford series, and Everglades (the latest) is the tenth in the series and I've read all of 'em.
I rated this book only four stars. As far as I'm concerned, all of the Doc Ford books by author Randy Wayne White are great, but some are 5 stars (darn near perfectly entertaining stories) and some not "quite as perfect", if that makes sense.
Why is this one only worth four stars? The plot of crazed cultists, a MOSSAD trained security agent, manmade earthquakes to fulfill prophecy, all equate to a tale less riveting than other scripts in the series. I found the victim, an old childhood friend of Doc Ford who also appeared in "The Man Who Invented Florida" hard to warm up to this time round.
If you're a fan of author Randy Wayne White, by all means buy this book! But if you've never read ANY of the Doc Ford series, I'd highly recommend you read these in the series first. My favorites in the Doc Ford series, are, (drum roll, please):
(5 stars)
Captiva
Twelve Mile Limit
Shark River
The Heat Islands
Ten Thousand Islands
Sanibal Flats (the first in the series)
The following are the 4 stars in the series--great stories, but I wouldn't recommend them as a first read of the author:
Everglades
The Man Who Invented Florida (a bit different from the rest of the series--Doc Ford isn't as prominent in the tale as his uncle, Tucker Gatrell, but this also is the funniest in the Doc Ford series)
North of Havana
The Mangrove Coast
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Format: Hardcover
Trouble is afoot again for Doc Ford in this tenth adventure for the marine biologist from Dinkin's Bay on Florida's Gulf Coast. Doc's childhood pal and one-time lover Sally Carmel arrives at his stilt house with a tale of a missing husband, presumed dead after a nighttime fall off of a boat while on a fishing trip. But is he really dead, and who is the menacing guy shadowing Sally's every move? The trail leads to the husband's business partner, a crooked religious cult leader who is cooking up some devilish plans to replenish his personal coffers. Bhagwan Shiva has no intention of waiting for the afterlife to reap a heavenly reward, and if murder and mayhem-not to mention major environmental damage to the unique and fragile Everglades-is necessary, so be it. Doc is facing some personal demons of his own, as depressed and out of shape, he confronts the price he is paying for continually camouflaging his own essentially predatory nature. The Everglades, eloquently rendered by White's vivid descriptions, offer a parallel reflection of the negative consequences of trying to impose civilization upon the natural order. Through a maelstrom of impressively complex physical combat, a nighttime encounter with a deadly bull shark, death-defying air boat hijinks, earthquake tremors, high explosives and a volcano, White delivers an increasingly complex portrait of Doc Ford and his hippie pal Tomlinson. But long time fans have come to expect more than just great storytelling, and Everglades does not disappoint, as White peppers his narrative with impressively researched information about Florida's Indian history, the ecology of the Everglades, primitive human brain physiology and wrestling, among many other topics.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Just as Doc goes through the process of recovery from failures in the previous adventure (Twelve Mile Limit) so the author seems in the process of recovering his hero. As the novel progresses, Doc has a growing awareness of his physical limitations and the effects of depression. Gradually he works his way through these problems while solving a mystery in familiar surroundings. This novel is built around the use of a cult as a front for development in the everglades, including but not limited to casino gambling. Doc Ford gets back to his roots in the sea of grass with a childhood friend whose husband has disappeared, the offspring of Tucker Gatrell's sidekick, Joe Egret, and old pal Tomlinson, whose undergraduate musings on an acid influenced philosophy paper have been posted and become an internet phenomenon.
White too has trimmed down. He plays his strong characters and has eliminated much of the annoying "black helicopter" paranoia of his recent novels. While there is still a lot of violence, but perhaps not as abrasive as in Twelve Mile Limit. I do, however, hope that the coda of a Nicaragua trip might come to an end here. As usual White could probably cut some of the repetition, but sometimes his pictures are right on, as in his account of the disorientating effect of airboats or the case of a fine description of the buzzard trees along the old Tamiami Trail. All in all, it's a good three day read.
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By A Customer on June 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
For those of us lucky enough to live in the Boca Grande to Sanibel area, Randy's descriptions and characters always bring a smile or a fond memory. For those who aren't so familiar with the area, the author weaves a wonderful plot with colorful characters and his own brand of common sense philosophy that rings true with "islanders" near and far. Once you get to know Doc Ford and Tomlinson, you will want to read the other books in this unique series. True entertainment coupled with skilled prose...take it to the beach or the lake or Central Park!!!
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